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Wes Craven, iconic horror movie director, dies at 76

Wes Craven: a master of fear who showed us our dark side dies.

 

His west cravnfilms were like immunisations that left you stronger and better-equipped to deal with the real world at its vilest

Heather Langenkamp in the 1984 'hit slasher' Nightmare on Elm Street

Heather Langenkamp in the 1984 ‘hit slasher’ Nightmare on Elm Street

“Horror films don’t create fear, they release it.” So said Wes Craven, the director who died this week aged 76.

With his first film, The Last House on the Left (1972), he released industrial quantities of fear into an already febrile America. The fall of Nixon, the Vietnam War and the civil rights struggle meant old power structures were no longer to be trusted. A new breed of horror filmmakers, like Craven, George A. Romero (The Night of the Living Dead) and Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre), allegorised that malaise in order to better pick through it.

In their films, entrenched authority was incompetent and/or corrupt – and the traditional, nuclear family unit curdled beyond recognition. Mum, Dad and the kids transformed into slavering cannibals in Craven’s second film, The Hills Have Eyes. The nice folks from the local church became the community of weird religious ascetics in Deadly Blessing. Unlike the sensual Hammer movies of earlier days, Craven’s monsters often didn’t creep out of castles. They just sauntered down the street and opened your front door. They were us.

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Posted by on August 30, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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